Evergreen Brick Works

From 1889 to 1984 the Don Valley Brick Works was one of Canada’s pre-eminent brickyards, producing more than 43 million bricks a year. Evergreen, in partnership with the City of Toronto and the Toronto and Region Conservation Authority, selected a large, multi-disciplinary design team, which included architects, landscape architects, interpretive designers, engineers, ecologists and artists, to transform the 12 acres (4.9 hectare) brownfield site into an environmental education centre incorporating themes of nature, culture and community.

Led by DTAH partner Joe Lobko, the team proposed the adaptive/reuse of all 16 buildings interconnected by new vibrant public spaces. A new “incubator” building inserted on the base of a historic storage facility at the heart of the site contains the offices for Evergreen and other like-minded community and social organizations.

The landscape at the Brick Works responds to the inherent fertility of the floodplain, allowing the site to dissolve into its surrounding valley context through the reintroduction of native planting. A stormwater management system collecting roof water and surface runoff channels water into a lush greenway accommodating the site’s distinctive flows, from beyond the top of the ravine and quarry to the shore of the Don River.

Joe Lobko presented his paper “Toronto Brownfield Redux”, on Artscape Wychwood Barns and Evergreen Brick Works, at the International Council on Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS) General Assembly and Scientific Symposium in Paris (France) November 2011.

Learn more about Green Design at EBW


Toronto, Ontario